Today our guest is Colleen from Mural Maker and More. Colleen has flown all the way in from California to join us. She is an amazing artist who specializes in painting. And blogging. This gal has more stuff on the web than I can possibly show you! She does amazing work!
Due to poor weather here and a freak snowstorm, she was actually lucky to get here when she did. It was necessary to send my buddy Tom Selleck and his mustache to the airport to pick her up on his snowmobile. I asked Tom nicely before he left to be sure to take it easy when she is on the back of that thing. I very much doubt she’s had to deal too much with blizzardy weather. I’m guessing that Tom took the scenic route back, because he has been gone two hours now and I’m getting a tad worried.
In the meantime, I had our Waffle House cook, Rastus, and our waitress, Jilly Bean, prepare a feast for her. We wanted to keep in mind that she is from California, so I had them prepare lots of fruits and veggies. And I hear that those Californians like sushi, so I asked them to make some. You should have seen the looks on their faces! After much discussion, it was decided that meat must be cooked within an inch of its life, so they fried up some catfish for her. As it is, they deep fried all the veggies too, so I doubt we came close to Californian fare, but we should at least get an A for effort. Especially since Rastus wore his best wife-beater T-shirt. Classy.
Oh, wait, my assistant just called and Tom and Colleen are pulling into the lot now. It appears that Tom got lost on Interstate 285. You know, the one that is a big circle around Atlanta? Apparently, he forgot which exit to get off and they circled the city three times. Typical man, Tom wouldn’t stop for directions and only got off the big cirele when he started to get dizzy. Poor Colleen had to brave twenty degree temperatures and snow drifts for the past two hours. But on the bright side, she got to hang onto Tom and his mustache the whole time. I’m hoping that makes up for it.
And here they are, all windblown and red faced, but at least they are probably hungry. Jilly Bean and Rastus will be pleased. So while they finish setting up the buffet, and Tom goes and thaws his mustache, lets sit down with Colleen!
Suzy: Tell me a little about yourself, your family, your other hobbies…
Colleen: I’m married with 3 grown stepsons and one 3 y.o. grandson. The stepparenting thing was pretty overwhelming, but we found our way thru it and none of use wound up in the looney bin, or prison. There were times I wondered, though.
Colleen: I’ve been a chronic DIYer all my life. I was raised to figure it out myself. So I did, and do, most of the time. Fifteen years ago I taught myself to paint. And have been painting murals since then. In the early days, I’d be in people’s homes for weeks! I’ve gotten a little faster now. Other things I enjoy are sports. I’m a huge sports nut, which worked out well with 3 boys. I also taught jazz dance for years.
Suzy: When and why did you start blogging, and where would you like your blogging to lead?
Colleen: I started my painting blog in May 2009. I thought it would be a good marketing tool for my artwork. Little did I know, I had to market the blog too! Now, I’m hooked. I blog more than I paint. I love the friendships I’ve made blogging.
Colleen: I have 3 blogs – Mural Maker and More, Feng Shui Savvy, and FoodieNewbies – which I plan on incorporating all under MuralMaker soon. The more I write, the more I find to write about. Each of my blogs is pretty narrow in subject matter and I’d like to broaden my writing more. So perhaps another blog is in the works?!? Who knows?
Suzy: Can you tell us a few things that most folks don’t know about you?
Colleen: I took art my first year in college. Art 101, or something like that. The teacher didn’t like my work because it was too realistic. I didn’t paint for 20 years after that class. To this day, I haven’t taken a class since. But, personally, I love to teach others. Go figure. This may be TMI, but I’m white and I’m married to a black man, and my stepsons are black. When I get excited or angry, I slip into ebonic slang. I don’t even notice it. Comes from raising 3 little bad boys 😉
Suzy: Name a few of your favorite websites that you go to for inspiration.
Colleen: PioneerWoman – to make me laugh. Southern Hospitality – because it’s beautiful and I’d like to think I’m a lady sometimes. And, for the best reference, Martha, of course.
Suzy: Since I’m kinda a crafty blog, I have to ask. Is there a type of craft that you prefer? You, know- the thing that you get so involved in that you lose total track of time…
Colleen: I get pretty lost when I’m painting. I used to sew, but not in the past few years. I worked for a number of years as a display/floral designer for a large craft store. I got to try out all kinds of crafts and products. I really miss that.
Suzy: Since I’m also kinda a sitcom-type blog, do you have a favorite television star? Tom wants to know….
Colleen: Tom was definitely my fav when he was in Hawaii. I can tell you the shows I love, which mostly have ensemble casts. The Good Wife is #1. Both NCIS’ are great. Oh yeah, don’t know his name, the cutie-patootie blondie on The Mentalist. Yeah, he’s a doll.
Suzy: How do make time in your day to blog? I know first hand how time-consuming a good blog is. How do you schedule it all in?
Colleen: Poorly. Especially since I’m self-employed. It seems like I have all the time in the world and I load up my To-Do lists. But then 7 pm rolls around and I wonder what I’ve done. I’ve started a weekly calendar/schedule to keep the 3 blogs going. I try and write some posts and have them ready in case I’m too busy, or just don’t feel like blogging, any particular day. I’ve switched writing to the evenings instead of mornings recently. I’m tired, but it’s working so far. When I blogged in the mornings, I’d find myself looking up and it’d be late afternoon. I feel a little more productive now.
Suzy: I believe an artist’s space tells alot about them. Can you tell me about yours?
Colleen: I have a bedroom studio in the back of my house with an en suite bathroom. It’s pretty organized, most of the time, although it can get out of hand pretty easily.
Suzy: Is there anything that you would like me to particularly promote? Any special tutorials coming up? Any sponsors? Giveaways?
Colleen: Right now, I’m aiming for one free paint tutorial a week. My goal is to sell paint patterns pretty soon and I’m doing the freebies to get people to try them out. That’s probably my main promotion. However, for baby nurseries, I offer a Mural Registry where family and friends can contribute to baby’s custom art. I think that’s pretty cool and probably should promote that a lot more.
Suzy: Colleen also offers a Passion for Paint Party every weekend where you can link up your paint projects, and please remember to check out her site for info on commissioning murals or getting you dog’s portraits done! She does fabulous work.
Thank you so much for joining us! I know that it was a long difficult trip. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to leave anytime soon as the city just shut down due to the weather. Lets go sit by the fireplace in the Green Room for a bit and enjoy the buffet that Rastus and Jilly Bean put together for us!
Ya know, Colleen, I have plenty of wallspace in the Green Room that could use a mural or two. Last time Brad Pitt was here, he brought all his kids and a large bag of cheetos and I have never been able to get the orange handprints off the walls. I have paint too! Maybe we should talk…
And remember, if you and your blog would like to join the party, please email me at myers6281(at)hotmail.com. I am always looking for new guest stars. And just think of all the awe in your friends and family’s eyes when you tell them you were actually on a sitcom! Well, maybe a sitcom in my mind, but lets not get too literal